What is happiness? Why are we here? These philosophical interrogatives, among with many others, are posed to the audience of The Questionnaire. An engaging performance from Christopher Birks as Jack, a typical arrogant young man, who is confused angry and looking for answers about society and why it makes him unhappy. He finds himself placed in a space which he cannot escape from and hears a voice (Robert Neumark-Jones) questioning him about life. To begin with, Jack does not co-operate and he does not want to think about these issues – like many other people do not want to. As the voice pushes Jack further, we can then see much of the subconscious anger within him and society as a whole. Not many acts at the Fringe can provoke so much thought and contemplation from such a small cast and minimalistic production – so for that it must be credited.
The Questionnaire resembled 1984 in many ways, such as the divide of power between the interrogator and random members or society. The voice, who remained relatively static as a bodiless presence from above, resembled many authoritarian characters such as Big Brother. The relationship between the voice and Jack is engaging and sinister from the beginning; this develops in an intense, unpredictable way leading to a conclusion which perhaps presents more questions than were initially presented.
This show is for intelligent audiences looking for fresh, challenging concepts presented with a sinister twist.